The name Ikat (pronounced “ee-kaht”) comes from the Malay language meaning "tied" or "bound,” which is exactly how this pattern is made. Using a tie-dye process, the warp or weft threads (the direction that they will run) are tied into tight bundles and dyed before being woven together to create a pattern. A Double Ikat is when both the warp and the weft threads are tie-dyed before weaving. This beautiful textile is typically made with silk, but can be found using all sorts of fabrics today.
Pillows by Fabricadabra
Ikats have a very long history and are found all over the world. The designs vary depending on the region in which they are made, but are often considered symbols of status, wealth, power and prestige because of the time involved and high level of skill required to make them.
The term “Flame Stitch” is often used today in place of “Ikat.” It is my belief that the Flame Stitch pattern is just one variation of the many designs that the Ikat umbrella covers. This term usually describes the zig-zag pattern and is seen as the more simplified or modern versions of an Ikat. It also describes the pattern on the thick blanket that your grandmother probably has.
Interiors by Mary Mcdonald
Bedroom with Flame Stitch Bench from Elle Decor, "Bargello Pillow" from Jonathan Adler
If you really want to make a statement, use Kelly Wearstler as your guide with how she used her own Ikat-inspired and Flame Stitch fabrics to create this amazing room.
On the other hand, Kristen Hutchins selected a more subtle Ikat pattern to use on this outdoor space to create a modern and serene aesthetic.
Today, the term Ikat can refer to the textile itself, the pattern, or technique used to make it. No matter how the term is used, you know that what you’re seeing is stunning!
Until next time!